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Thread: NHTSA Opens Investgation

  1. #1
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    NHTSA Opens Investgation

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: [IBDone] NHSTA Opens Investgation into BMW Final Drive Failures
    Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 07:46:00 -0800
    From: Chris
    To: 'IBDone list'



    (IF SOMEONE COULD PLEASE CROSSPOST THIS LD RIDERS AND OTHER SITES, I WOULD
    REALLY APPRECIATE IT)



    After over 145 individual complaints filed between April 2001 and August
    2011, the NHSTA has finally opened its first official investigation into the
    failure of crown gear bearings on BMW models equipped with the Paralever
    style final drive. NHSTA investigation DP12001 opened 1/20/12 is centered
    on 1999-2005 K1200LTs for now. But, if the findings are what we all believe
    they will be, the scope of the investigation should be expanded. I found
    the only way to get NHSTA to listen and focus was to pepper its director,
    David Strickland, with repeat letters as well as inquiries from WA Senator
    Patty Murray who chairs the subcommittee over funding for the NHSTA. If
    you have had a final drive failure on your Paralever equipped BMW, and have
    NOT already reported it to the NHSTA, I urge you do it now.

    You will need your VIN, (est.) date of failure and mileage. State your
    model as well. While they should be able to identify from VIN, their data
    was wrong 50% of the time. Specify if gear oil leaked.

    www.safercar.gov

    or call (888) 327-4236

    or mail to:

    NHSTA

    Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)

    West Building

    1200 New Jersey Ave SE

    Washington DC 20590



    In your complaint, select "Power Train" as the component and reference that
    you have had the same failure as described in ODI No. 10439549, and
    currently being investigated under Campaign DP12001.



    Send an email to your Congressman and US Senator to follow up on your behalf
    as well.
    Last edited by 5_19; 02-06-2012 at 12:02 AM. Reason: corrected URL

  2. #2
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Thank you for posting,....it's about bloody well time!

    Will zap my FD failure info to NHTSA as well as a correspondence to my WI Senator & Congressman.

    This is not about attacking BMW - it's about them not taking responsibility for flawed engineering they've known about for years and have still not resolved (failures have occurred in current models).

    Last edited by Greenwald; 02-05-2012 at 04:21 AM.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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    If you go to the NHTSA ODI web site you can see the correspondence that resulted in this investigation. The author did an outstanding job clearly stating his case.

    Other serious problems exist that are NOT currently under investigation by the Feds. These include the fuel pump flange leaks and rear wheel flange cracks. Individuals with those defects need to send a defect petition to NHTSA similar to the one that initiated this investigation.
    Karl
    2007 R1200ST

  4. #4
    DaveJ
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    The link to NHSTA website is safecar.gov not .org
    How do I get my 08 RT into this. Its on the 3rd drive in less than 12k miles.

    Dave Jenkins
    2008 R1200rt
    1983 R80rt

  5. #5
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Pretty much the same question as above. This seems limited to the K bike when the issue crosses all the shaft drive models.
    Nom de Plume:
    Steve Aikens, Clovis, NM
    BMW MOA #6218
    IBA# 442

  6. #6
    WILDPIG
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    well well well -- i dont see where corporate bmw stepped up to the plate..... no suprise there................ gives a whole new approach to customer service,,,, now you will attacked by the diehards for a "phoney" mechanical issue.....

  7. #7
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WILDPIG View Post
    well well well -- i dont see where corporate bmw stepped up to the plate..... no suprise there................ gives a whole new approach to customer service,,,, now you will attacked by the diehards for a "phoney" mechanical issue.....
    In all fairness, some BMW owners just don't seem to get what all the fuss is about, simply becuase they have not sufferred thru a ruined trip or financial kick in the teeth as too many already have. They deserve a voice in the debate.

    Others play the numbers game, claiming that the percentage of affected owners is too low to get excited about it, even though corporate BMW confiscates the defective evidence and makes sure that those numbers remain a mystery. Sort of like concluding that "Since the odds of being a murder victim are quite remote, why the need for improving homocide laws on the books?!"

    Others are just very, very loyal to the brand, and bristle at anyone breaking ranks and saying something nasty in BMW's direction, even if the intent is to 'improve the breed.'

    And some just enjoy a good cup of Kool-Aid from time to time.

    And like Kool-Aid, the MOA comes in many flavors.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 140482 View Post
    The link to NHSTA website is safecar.gov not .org
    How do I get my 08 RT into this. Its on the 3rd drive in less than 12k miles.

    Dave Jenkins
    2008 R1200rt
    1983 R80rt
    From the OP:

    NHSTA investigation DP12001 opened 1/20/12 is centered
    on 1999-2005 K1200LTs for now.
    But, if the findings are what we all believe
    they will be, the scope of the investigation should be expanded. I found
    the only way to get NHSTA to listen and focus was to pepper its director,
    David Strickland, with repeat letters as well as inquiries from WA Senator
    Patty Murray who chairs the subcommittee over funding for the NHSTA. If
    you have had a final drive failure on your Paralever equipped BMW, and have
    NOT already reported it to the NHSTA, I urge you do it now.


    Year - model - VIN - and particulars of the failure.

    select "Power Train" as the component and reference that
    you have had the same failure as described in ODI No. 10439549, and
    currently being investigated under Campaign DP12001.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by 140482 View Post
    The link to NHSTA website is safecar.gov not .org
    How do I get my 08 RT into this. Its on the 3rd drive in less than 12k miles.

    Dave Jenkins
    2008 R1200rt
    1983 R80rt
    Dave - I too found the link under "safercar.org" to not be that user-friendly. What I did instead is compose a letter to NHTSA (this is the correct order of the letters for this abbreviation, by the way), and snail mail a copy to them and both my state senator and Senator Murray, who chairs the subcommittee for NHTSA's funding.

    Here is what I sent - you could use it as a pattern if you wish - simply copy and paste it into your computer and insert your personal data where applicable.

    Good Luck!



    TO: NHTSA 02/06/12

    The purpose of this correspondence is to report to the NHTSA my experience with a defective final drive on my BMW motorcycle. Investigation DP12001 was opened on 01/20/12, and I realize that for now, its scope is being confined to 1999-2005 K1200LT models of the BMW motorcycle line.

    However, hundreds of BMW owners with the 2005-2011 models of the R1200RT, R1200GS and R1200GSA versions have also suffered catastrophic and expensive failure of the final drives (as described in ODI No. 10439549), without apology, responsibility or explanation from Corporate BMW. In fact, the defective units are spirited away to Germany, and the reason(s) for the failure remain unacknowledged.

    On 08/20/10 my final drive on my 2005 R12200RT (VIN:000000000000) suffered a failure (super-heating from the crown gear bearing and some oil leakage), despite all appropriate factory maintenance being adhered to and only 49,736 miles on it. The cost of documented repairs exceeded $2,000 (of which BMW only offered ‘hush money’ of $500, labeled “Customer Good Will Cash”).

    Please consider expanding your investigation to include these additional models, as the problem is more widespread that what you are currently looking into, and quite frustrating to American consumers of this product, not to mention very unsafe should it occur while in motion and/or result in a fire from leaking gear oil being ignited (which has occurred!).

    Should you wish to contact me for further information, please do not hesitate to do so.

    Sincerely,


    cc: U.S. Senator Patty Murray (WA)
    U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  10. #10
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Wow Kevin!

    Your letter reads like it was written by a Havard trained lawyer. A very good letter; succinct and covers the relevant points. Guess all that time sitting in court rooms rubbed off on you.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  11. #11
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    It is a good letter, Kevin, but it'd be better if it connected the mechanical failure with danger or risk to the operator - that's what NHTSA looks for.

    For instance, you might add " This powertrain failure, mechanically identical to that reported in ODI No. 10439549, caused a release of oil onto the rear tire and loss of vehicle stability. The loss of stability resulted both from the release of oil and the mechanical failure of the bearing. Either failure could easily have led to a crash causing the operator and passenger's injury or death."

    I also think it'd be useful to include an express statement that the same powertrain (I keep using that word because it's a word/concept that NHTSA uses) design is used on other BMW models. We all know this, but NHTSA won't unless we say so, perhaps repeatedly.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    All good suggestions. Each of you who feel so inclined should craft a letter that you feel informs the NHTSA of a situation that has gone on way too long.

    BMW has had many chances to address this issue, and yet the failures continue, despite the 'band-aids' of less fluid (180 ml), more frequent changes and relocated drain plugs.

    I don't lose sleep over my current model, but I do occasionally dream of an R1200RT that is water-cooled, has a belt drive, a standard non-ESA shock and a fuel system float - in Wedgewood Blue as well!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
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  13. #13
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Ditto on what David suggested. I have a friend who used to work for NHTSA - and what gets their attention is - injury or the chance of injury. A mechanical failure doesn't concern them (or fall within the scope of their charter) unless it can be shown to possibly have a chance of causing injury.

    Other things that are important:

    1. Keep the comments to ONE case, and use the same fault description (ie - Powertrain failure.) It is more impressive to them if there are multiple complaints of the failure of the same component in the same vehicle subsystem.

    2. Don't go paranoid or conspiracy theory in the description. Making BMW out as the evil empire might be satisfying to you, but if anything, it makes your complaint less likely to be thought of as serious.

    3. Don't cut and paste a form complaint. It looks to them just like what it is - an Internet campaign. They're looking for actual incidents from owners, and form letter complaints just don't work well.

    4. Don't send a complaint about "I know a guy who had this failure.." To be effective - it has to be first-hand. And lots of complaints about "I know a guy.." or "I heard that.." will give the appearance of an Internet campaign.

    And I'll emphasize again - INJURY or the potential for INJURY is what gets attention. If someone lost control due to a rear-drive failure and suffered an injury, that starts to get their attention.

    Good luck with it..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  14. #14
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    And I'll emphasize again - INJURY or the potential for INJURY is what gets attention. If someone lost control due to a rear-drive failure and suffered an injury, that starts to get their attention.
    Yes, SAFETY is in their name.

    Good to remember when thinking "consumerism" that the guvmint only has TWO concerns: safety and emissions. Anything else and it's just you and your dealer.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  15. #15
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Interesting little article.. might make BMW want to rethink their policies on motorcycle recalls:

    http://content.usatoday.com/communit...eports-nhtsa/1
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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